As the cold weather starts to leave us it means that spring has finally arrived. Some people see this as an ideal time of the year to give your finances a good old spring clean, especially if you’re still struggling from a start of the year hangover.
The start of the year is notorious for leaving you with a financial headache, the holidays have passed and money has inevitably been spent, but as we approach the months ahead you should be aiming to do something about it.
A financial spring clean is all about making your money work better for you, and you can do this by reviewing all aspects of personal finance, from your debts to your spending and saving until you can make your money go that extra yard.
To get started on your financial spring clean you should first get into research mode. Collect as many bank statements and utility bills as possible, including any debts and automatic payments you make on a regular basis. This should give you a quick snapshot of your financial situation.
Once you have an idea of current financial state it’s time to decide on some possible plans of action. Firstly, do you have any credit card debt? Can you move this debt on to an interest-free balance transfer credit card to save you some money while you pay it off?
Once you’ve dealt with your debts it’s time to analyse your bills, do you have any renewals coming up like car insurance? Have you searched elsewhere to see if you can find a better deal? Never be happy with the price you’re quoted, always go back to the insurance provider to see if you get yourself a bigger discount.
Do you have a phone contract? And if so, do you use your allocated monthly allowance? If not, then see if you can downgrade to get a cheaper deal that will help you to save money. All of these changes seem small, but when you add them all up they can make a big difference.
Once you have analysed all your bills and debts, its time to look at your financial stability as a whole, and to do this it’s worth purchasing a detailed credit report. Companies like Experian for a small fee will provide you with a detailed examination of all your finances. If you notice anything strange with any of your figures then get your report queried with a credit reference agency straight away.
For the next step ask yourself the question, do you get the most out of your money? Do you make your savings work for you? Look at your type of bank account and see whether it would be worth switching to reap the benefits.
Do you have a savings account? If you do have a savings account then check your account against the market leaders to see if you could make your money go further by getting a better interest rate.
All of these little changes can make a huge difference to your overall financial situation, and you should always be striving to get the maximum return on your money that you work so hard to earn.
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